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Lady Rams Ready to Start

Nine letterwinners return for the Wyalusing Valley girls' soccer team. They include, front row, from left, Heather Pierce, Meghan Snavely, Amanda Thompson and Alyssa Keefe. Back row: Brooke Repsher, Sadie Watson, Liz Hugo, Stefani Smalser and Emily Hoffman.

"The girls are excited about playing. They're more confident. They're looking to improve on their record."

Wyalusing Valley High School girls' soccer coach Beth Trowbridge is pleased with her team's preparation as the season opener at Elk Lake nears.

"We have a strong group of returning players," said Trowbridge, who is the only coach the Lady Rams have ever had in their three years of existence.

With a solid corps of returners back, Trowbridge believes the squad can improve on last season when it finished 5-11-1, overall, and 4-8-1 in the Northern Tier League.

Nine letterwinners return, including senior Sadie Watson, juniors Emily Hoffman, Liz Hugo, Alyssa Keefe, Stefani Smalser and Amanda Thompson and sophomores Brooke Repsher, Heather Pierce and Meghan Snavely.

Other players who can expect to see varsity action are juniors Ashley Bluhm and Amanda Goodwin, sophomore Anna Canfield and freshmen Dana Cunningham and April Johnson.

Trowbridge expects the strength of the team to be in the midfield where Watson, Smalser and Hoffman should be "outstanding."

Watson, who is coming off a knee injury suffered at the start of last season, could also see some time in goal.

Canfield, Bluhm, Goodwin, Johnson and Cunningham could also see playing time at midfield.

Thompson is set at fullback, while Canfield and Goodwin are also candidates for that position.

Keefe, Pierce and Snavely return at the forward position. Cunningham may also contribute there.

Hugo will play the sweeper position, while Johnson can play stopper.

Repsher played most of last season in goal after injuries in the first weekend sidelined two goalkeepers.

Trowbridge would like to get Repsher into the field more. Watson and perhaps Johnson should get some time in net.

With a large number of returners in the offensive end and a strong midfield, Trowbridge is still working to get players into their best positions at the defensive end.

She is very concerned about the team's depth.

She had hoped to get more players out this season than last, but the number of players reporting to camp was nearly the same as last year.

"If we get the injuries we had last year, it will hurt us," she explained. "If we stay healthy, we'll finish well."

She expects the principal contenders in the NTL to be Athens and Towanda.

"Athens is always strong and Towanda has a lot of players back," she said.

Trowbridge is a little concerned about a schedule that sees the Lady Rams home just twice in September.

After scrimmages at Waverly, NY, and Montrose on Aug. 26 and 30, respectively, the Lady Rams open the season on Sept. 3 at Elk Lake at 4:15 p.m.

The home opener is Sept. 7 with Troy.

Trowbridge is assisted by Kathy Lutz and volunteer assistant Emily Alt.

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